Keya Milaire suffered cracked ribs, a broken back and fractured pelvis when the horse she was riding became spooked and flipped backwards on May 24. Submitted photo

Community rallies behind nurse after horse riding accident

Keya Milaire suffered a broken back, cracked ribs, fractured pelvis when her friend’s horse spooked

A young nurse has found herself trapped in a hospital bed after suffering debilitating injuries in a horse riding accident.

Keya Milaire, 28, was exercising a horse for a friend at Campbell Valley Park on May 24, when the horse became spooked, flipped backwards and fell on top of her.

She suffered two cracked ribs, broke her back in two places and fractured both sides of her pelvis, causing it to detach from her spine.

The horse ran off down the trail, and Milarie, unable to move, managed to hold on to her cellphone and dial 911.

It took first responders 25 minutes to find her near the southern Water Splash section of the park. At the same time, another rider in the park caught the horse and brought him back to her.

“That’s like my home. I grew up in that park, I know it really well. I knew the horse pretty well, too, and he had been good on previous rides,” Milaire told Black Press.

“He spooked at the silliest thing. It was a wet spot somewhere on the ground, another horse had gone pee. It was so silly, I guess it just caught him off guard. And so we were cantering, and he saw this spot, and he leaped all four feet off the ground — not even a buck, and not a rear.

“And then he went up again, and then the third time it turned into a rear and he just lost his balance and he actually fell completely on top of me. It was really scary.”

The paramedics gave Milaire fentanyl for the pain — something she was uneasy about taking — and she was air lifted to Royal Columbian Hospital. She was later transferred to Vancouver General Hospital.

Because of a previous spinal injury eight years ago, Milaire is not eligible for surgery, and will remain in a hospital bed for the next eight to 12 weeks with 24 hour nursing care.

To help her in her recovery, close family friend Crystal Bailey has organized a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of Milaire’s rent, car payments, hospital wifi and other bills.

“If you know Keya, you know she loves the outdoors, riding horses, hiking, working out and taking her dog Hazel on puppy play dates,” Bailey said on the GoFundMe page.

“She was just about to do the Tough Mudder in Whistler and she was well on her way to being an ‘independent woman.’ She’s a loving, selfless person and has proved this by becoming an amazing nurse who cares deeply for others.”

Milaire said the support from the community and her fellow nurses has been more than she could ever imagine.

“I keep crying because every 10 minutes somebody else does something nice for me,” she said.

“It’s overwhelming in such a good way, but it’s just so overwhelming. Your true friends really come out when stuff like this happens and they’ve been there for me and it’s just incredible. And strangers who don’t even know me are reaching out to me and sending me good wishes. It’s crazy, there are so many amazing people out there.”

For more on the GoFundMe, click here.



miranda@langleytimes.com

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